Sabbath School - July 6 - Revival: Our Great Need
A Sabbath School resource
from the Victoria Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia
This week our discussion will revolve around the message from Jesus to the church in Laodicea - found in Revelation 3:14-22. There’s a lot in these 9 verses. Hopefully the following will add to your own thoughts and questions and lead to a vibrant conversation in your Sabbath School Small Group.
Read Revelation 14:14-22
In Verse 14 there are three titles/descriptions on Jesus Christ. Let’s think about each.
“The Amen” This is not the word usually translated as “let it be so”. It is, in this case, a transliteration of a Hebrew term meaning “Master Workman.” How would this title for Jesus be useful in speaking to the heart of a people accustomed to wealth? How familiar are wealthy people with Master Workmen? What would it mean to them that Jesus was the “Master Workman”?
“The faithful and true witness” Wealthy people are accustomed to manipulating the truth - in the courtroom and in life - to suit their needs. How would it affect them to know that this message comes from a witness who is both faithful and true? Can you feel the lawyers’ knees shaking?
“The ruler of God’s creation” Above the commoner, above the landowners, above the lords and ladies, above the government, above the king and queen is One — the Creator of it all. What impact would this title have had on the Laodicean creme-de-la-creme? Where will the listener be emotionally after merely the introduction to the speaker of the words to come?
Why do you think Jesus chose to introduce Himself in triplicate as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation”? What was He trying to accomplish?
Read Revelation 14:15-16
The next word that stands out quite vividly in this passage is in verse 16. When Jesus says, “I am about to spit you out of my mouth” the most accurate word for the action referred to is “Vomit!” Spitting is a nasty habit. Vomiting, on the other hand, is not a choice. When it comes, it comes. Why does lukewarm faith trigger God’s gag reflex?
It’s pretty gross, isn’t it? The image created by the word “vomit” in our imagination is both shocking and clear. Why do you think God chose to use this word?
What does God want the church in Laodicea to do?
Read Revelation 14:17-18
This brings to mind the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
How do you like the thought of yourself naked in front of a crowd?
Jesus saves the word “naked” for last. He first says the people of Laodicea are wretched, pitiful, poor and blind. Then He says, “And Naked!” Much like the word “vomit” the word “naked” creates a powerfully uncomfortable reaction. Why do you think Jesus was being so brash with these well-to-do people?
The medical school in Laodicea was known for it’s usage of a special eye salve. Wether the Laodicean Christians had used that salve or not, they would have known about it. They had probably bee asked (or offered) to bring some salve when visiting family and friends who lived elsewhere. Now, Jesus offers salve which will allow them to see their true condition. What might that Salve be? Consider the story of the Emeror’s New Clothes. What impact does someone who sees clearly have on others?
In Verse 18 Jesus offers a remedy to each of their problems. What are the remedies mentioned and how are they different than both the truth and the assumed truth of the current condition of the Laodiceans?
What is Jesus’ goal for those He loves?
Read Revelation 14:19-20
Why does Jesus rebuke and discipline His children? Is this a comfortable teaching? Why?
How does earnest repentance help?
The original text of Verse 20 is in the present tense: “I am standing at the door knocking.” Jesus is consistently at the door of our hearts, always knocking. How is this good news? What benefit does it have for someone in a lukewarm state?
The one who hears the knocking and opens the door receives a visitor. What does eating together signify about people? What happens when you eat together?
Does God’s grace sometimes seem too permissive and inclusive? Why?
Read Revelation 14:21-22
Considering the journey the Laodicean people have taken (if they follow the advice in these verses) what does it mean to be victorious? Does it mean they have become better people and now God accepts them? If not, what does it mean? What have they accomplished victory over? How?
The rich are accustomed to sitting on thrones. What is the difference in the heart and mind of the “overcomer” who is invited to sit with God on His throne? What transitions have taken place? Who is the centre of their universe, now?
What is the message God wants those of us with ears to hear?